Classification and treatment of spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas

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✓ An anatomical-angiographic classification for carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas is introduced and a series of 14 patients with spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas is reviewed to illustrate the usefulness of such a classification for patient evaluation and treatment. Fistulas are divided into four types: Type A are direct high-flow shunts between the internal carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; Type B are dural shunts between meningeal branches of the internal carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; Type C are dural shunts between meningeal branches of the external carotid artery and the cavernous sinus; and Type D are dural shunts between meningeal branches of both the internal and external carotid arteries and the cavernous sinus. The anatomy, clinical manifestations, angiographic evaluation, indications for therapy, and therapeutic options for spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas are discussed.

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Address reprint requests to: Daniel L. Barrow, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, Emory University Clinic, 1365 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30322.
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